Why do Hollywood actors Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney want to invest in Wrexham Soccer Club?
It’s a story straight out of Hollywood – but not the one you’d expect to see unfold in Wrexham.
Hollywood actors Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney were on Wednesday revealed as the mystery of potential investors in Wrexham AFC, a Welsh club which plays in the fifth tier of English football.
This dead Pool star Reynolds and It’s always nice in Philadelphia creator McElhenney want to invest in Wrexham has created international titles and not little enthusiasm in the market town of North Wales.
Club members own Wrexham and 97.5% of them voted to continue buyout talks with the celebrity duo.
“I’m sure people will take it as a remarkable story,” director of Wrexham Spencer Harris said after speaking to Reynolds and McElhenney via Zoom.
Harris said he would let the A-listers reveal their motivation to invest in Wrexham, but that the deal, if it comes to fruition, would mean “very exciting times for the club and the fans”.
Reynolds and McElhenney will present their vision for a $ 2.5 million takeover at a second special general meeting.
Wrexham fans aren’t the only ones wondering why the duo chose their club. A cryptic tweet from Reynolds only added to the speculation.
While potential investors are not the first North Americans see the value of European football, Wrexham is far from the riches of the Premier League. With the club making a profit of £ 756,000 (£ 963,000) in the latest accounts, investors would wait years to make a serious return on their investment.
If it’s not about money, maybe it’s about trying to build something. Wrexham has never played in English football’s Premier League and has been part of the National League since his relegation from League Two in 2007/08.
But it has a lot of historical prestige. The racecourse, where Wrexham plays, is the oldest stadium in the world and the team itself was founded in 1864, making it one of the oldest clubs in the world. The club’s most famous night came in 1984, when they beat Portuguese giants FC Porto in the now defunct Cup Winners’ Cup.
Spencer Harris says Reynolds and McElhenney have an “emotional connection” to the club and that Reynolds is known to be a football fan. Maybe the dream is to deliver the investment that will allow Wrexham to promote the Divisions before, in a day, a few years from now, he has a fairytale shot in the Premier League. The script of the film would write itself.
Or maybe it’s all part of a smart marketing campaign. Reynolds’ advertising agency Maximum Effort Productions made a viral ad channel and the actor clearly has a knack for selling products in a fun and memorable way.
Wrexham – the club and the city – is right to be excited and to welcome international attention. If this all turns out to be some sort of elaborate joke, Wrexham fans will not allow their club to be the target of it.
But there is no reason to believe it. They may just be two football fans with the resources to try to transform the future of a humble historic club.
It may not be a question of “why Wrexham?” but, as McElhenney tweeted, “Why not Wrexham?”
The Covid-19 pandemic has severely affected football clubs and there is a lot of financial uncertainty in the lower leagues, including the National League. Football could do with a good story.
Hopefully this Hollywood tale has a happy ending.